New Zealand wakes up to Vettori and Co`s shock win in WC

Updated: Mar 26, 2011, 10:27 AM IST

Wellington: New Zealand`s cricket team didn`t just stun South Africa, it also left its own fans and media astounded with the shocking 49-run win over the Proteas to enter the World Cup semifinals.

The Kiwis, who started the match as underdogs, managed to defend a modest 221 against the world number two South Africans in the World Cup quarterfinals in Mirpur, Bangladesh last night.

The difference in time zones meant that the fans woke up to a rather pleasant surprise today.

And they were most shocked by the 4-39 haul of injury-ravaged all-rounder Jacob Oram, who also took a couple of athletic catches in the dramatic victory.

"I gave up and went to sleep when SA only needed about 120 runs to win and we still needed 8 wickets. I`ve only just woken up to this brilliant news," a fan wrote on the Fairfax News website.

Another fan, who admitted to not having any faith in Oram`s abilities before the match said, "happy to eat my words and well done Oram."

"Finally, Oram lives up to the hype, and delivers on the world stage. Well done to the team and to him in particular." wrote another.

"Miracles do happen," proclaimed a fan on a website.

New Zealand, known to punch above their weight in major tournaments, are living up to the `dangerous darkhorses` tag yet again but it remains to be seen whether they manage to shed the `perennial bridesmaid` label in their fourth semifinal appearance in the World Cup.

They had arrived in the subcontinent with just two wins in 16 one-dayers in the six months preceding the World Cup.

"New Zealand had muddled along for the last few months, building up a horrible losing record and arriving at the World Cup seemingly without a prayer," cricket writer David Leggat wrote in the `New Zealand Herald`.

The surprise win may have left most fans happy but there were skeptics as well and some witty criticisms of the team could also be found.

"The worst team to leave New Zealand fluked a win and club player Oram did something he is paid for and has not done for the last 30 games," wrote a blogger.

"This match should be investigated ... very suspicious," added another.